Let the voting analysis begin, beginning with Dan Le Batard

January 9, 2014

Hall VoteCongrats to the newest electees to the Hall of Fame — Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. But shed a tear for Craig Biggio, who missed joining them by two votes.

At least one potential vote is attributed to that genius who declined to vote for anyone on the who played in the PED era, whether they actually used, were accused of using, or happened to be in proximity of someone who was.

Then there’s Dan Le Batard, who must have gone through life with a couple of nicknames now considered politically incorrect but nevertheless come to mind right now. Depending on your point of view he showed a) courage; b) a lack of judgement, or c) a lack of respect when he “sold” his soul vote to Deadspin, a supposedly humorous sports site devoted to knocking icons and institutions of their pedestals (which, admittedly, is not always a bad thing).

Le Batard tries to defend himself by saying he did this as a protest against the “sanctimonious” voting procedure, that he was making a statement.

I don’t have a lot of experience with Le Batard. I first saw him as a fill-in host on Pardon the Interruption and was unimpressed. I thought he was unfunny and sort of obnoxious. Given his stiffness, I was surprised to learn he had his own radio and TV shows. Nor have I read his stuff on anything close to a regular basis.  But I know there are many sportscasters looking to boost their Q scores by taking ridiculous stances for the publicity, which makes them even more obnoxious to me.

I wonder if his defenders and detractors fall along generational lines, the younger ones getting his back, the older ones taking the “how dare you” stance.

Pardon the Interruption took Le Batard to task for his folly, attributing it in part to his rampant egomania. It was the second topic on yesterday’s program, following the news about Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas (about the 3:30 mark).

My beloved Tony Kornheiser  and Mike Wilbon continued to  express their displeasure and disappointment as guests on Le Batard’s radio show so he (Le Batard) could remain in the spotlight, protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. I wish there was a transcript for this for sake of ease, but I encourage you to listen to the segment linked above.

Le Batard said he has been banging his head against the virtual wall for a long time, but no one was listening (as if he’s the dean of baseball writers and deserving of such gravitas), so this is  how he decided to make his stand. He tries to make this the French revolution with him as the lone voice of reason against an oppressive regime. At least that’s my interpretation.

At least Deadspin voted for Biggio; it would have been a real travesty if that had been the second ballot that left off his name.

Surprisingly, the Baseball Writers Association of America, whose members vote for the HoF elections, declined to comment, at least at this point.



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